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Energy Through Line: A Q&A with Guy Jones

Resurrection, pen and ink on gesso board, by Guy Jones
Resurrection, pen and ink on gesso board, by Guy Jones. Sold.

The Torpedo Factory recently lost two longtime resident artists. Friend and fellow artist Guy Jones has memorialized them in this three-foot high drawing, which happened to be selected as Best in Show by the juror for this months’ “Superstition & Belief” exhibit.

We asked the artist to tell us about his chosen medium — pen and ink — and the inspiration for this piece, his largest to date:

How would you describe Resurrection?
Resurrection is a vision. It’s a view into the other side: what lies beyond this realm. It is “other worldly.”

What was the inspiration for this piece? What was your goal?
I was not inspired; I was shown. The image hit my brain like a bolt of lightning. I found out after three days of rough sketching that a fellow artist friend had passed away the day I had this vision, and that my artist studio mate was dying (and passed away three days later). They are both present in this piece.

My goal was to share this vision. Bob is the frog and Marcel is the beetle. This image was a gift from them.

Resurrection by Guy Jones (detail)
Resurrection by Guy Jones (detail)

What does the winged tree represent to you?
The winged tree came before anything else was conceived. It represents rebirth. When I look at that tree, I see the doorway to the “other side.” There is this old tree next to the path at Huntley Meadows Park that captivates me and perhaps inspired my vision.

Why are you an illustrator? What keeps you coming back to drawing?
I was wired to draw.

I have illustrated but do not consider myself an illustrator. I draw. I draw energy through line. I have always loved pen & ink, don’t know why. I really prefer black & white.

“When it’s done, it can really surprise me. I like that.”

Can you elaborate on the idea of “energy through line”?
You see, everything is energy, has spirit. I draw the energy behind the image. I just happen to use pen & ink (line) to express this energy.

What tools did you use to create Resurrection?
Resurrection is “straight up” pen & ink on gesso wood panel. That’s it.

I use Micron pens. They are felt tip but use archival ink.

When are you most happy, creatively?
Pieces rarely end up the way they start. I go into it pretty loosely. When it’s done, it can really surprise me. I like that.

What are you working on now?
Currently I am a Torpedo Factory Artist on the 3rd floor in Studio 329. I’m gearing up for the holiday season. I plan on making larger pieces in the near future. “Resurrection” is the largest piece I have done. I usually work fairly small.

Why is this piece the largest you’ve done?
Well, I had this large panel for a while but was more comfortable working smaller. Then I had the vision and I knew I had to use the large panel.

First came the tree. Everything else just followed. That’s usually how it goes.

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